Eight Entertaining Talks

Coco Chanel was born in poverty and went on to become the richest woman in the world. She lived for the first 16 years of her life in an orphanage and rose to become one of the most famous fashion designers of the 20th century. She achieved this by moving in high society and taking advantage of the wealthy men she attracted who showered her with apartments, shops and the means to design and create some of the most iconic clothes for wealthy women across the world. Along the way she also made enemies and caused outrage when it was revealed she had collaborated with the enemy during WW2. She was a fascinating and complex woman – with a life story to match!

The Glory of the MGM Musicals. In the 1940s and 1950s MGM produced some of the greatest film musicals ever seen. The Arthur Freed unit revolutionised how musicals were made, and signed up the top directors, choreographers, composers and lyricists of the era. The songs written for the films became classics and made stars actors and actresses appearing in them. You will enjoy watching clips from some of these great movies and learn about the trials and tribulations that went into these films. If you love film musicals this is the talk for you.

Victorian London Street Life. This is a fascinating insight into how poor people in London lived and survived in the late nineteenth century. The fear of the Workhouse with personal stories and details what sort of food was popular and the plight of working children are just a few of the topics covered. We follow them throughout a typical day, ending in a Music Hall.

The Golden Age of Hollywood. This talk is an opportunity to visit the golden age of Hollywood when people visited the cinema to forget the impact of the Great Depression. During this period flocked to see Busby Berkeley musicals, the birth of Technicolor and the first film by Walt Disney. Two of the greatest films in cinema history were made during this period. There are lots of clips of the stars and music of this era. A real treat for film fans.

The Story of ENSA. When WWII was declared, the government felt entertainment was important to keep up people’s moral. The Entertainments National Service Association was set up and entertainers were encouraged to join; over 50,000 answered the call. So join me and enjoy a trip down memory lane learning about the artists who would become household names.

The Fabulous 50s. A fun look back at the decade of the 1950s. We take a look at how we lived during this period in the UK, including the fashions, radio, television, films and of course the music -- the birth of rock'n'roll which gave us stars like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Bill Haley.

The Roaring 20s. Relive the decade of the four F’s – Fashion, Flappers, Film and Fun. Learn how younger generation wanted to forget about past traditions of behaviour and instead wanted to ‘Live for the moment’ following WWI. We see how The Bright Young Things went too far and made themselves unpopular with the general population. Find out who the stars of Hollywood were and the music which defined the era as well as the change in fashion. A light hearted talk with short videos.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This talk is a feast for the eyes. We look at the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and at the paintings that made them famous. The brotherhood led to the Arts and Craft Movement in which William Morris, a great friend of the members, embraced their art through textiles and wallpaper. Eventually it became so popular that it was copied by architects, jewellers, interior and fashion designers and evolved into the style known as Art Nouveau.